Right I am not even joking you are definitely going to want to pack your bags immediately and visit Matera when you see this Italian destination wedding. Especially as Bride Reanne has been supper helpful and listed countless gorgeous places to stay, airport transport companies to use and fabulous restaurants and bars to visit. Utilising the whole towns beauty and it's endless talented suppliers. Not only is the location jaw dropping, but so is Reanne's lace Sincerity Bridal gown, and I LOVE, love, love the pastel blue and fuschia pink colour scheme, which was used to create her gorgeous peony & rose bouquet and also picked up in her best girls floral Joules Bridesmaid dresses. You can't help but smile when you see the images captured by RMW recommended List supplier Beatrici Photography of them wandering the quaint cave city streets.
LocationReanne The Bride: We decided to do things differently- to have a unique and unforgettable destination wedding for 60 guests for no more than the average UK wedding. Having visited Matera on holiday in 2013 we fell in love with this idyllic location in the South of Italy and on one of our return visits thought they would inquire into the potential of getting married in this amazing cave city - Sassi di Matera - which is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is going to be European City of Culture in 2019. Not speaking Italian, and wanting a personal approach we didn't feel it would be necessary to hire a wedding planner, so we relied on business owners speaking English and Google translate to make things happen for our 60 guests. Above all what we loved more than anything, was how excited the local business owners got when we said we were getting married and wanted to use their venue and services for their wedding. Being told it is an honour to host your Wedding instead of being informed of an additional cost is what made our decision all the easier!
The DressMy dress was by Sincerity Bridal from The Wedding Warehouse Ascot. I had jewellery from PANDORA and gold Betti shoes from Dune.
BeautyI had celebrity hairdresser Massimo Ferraroni and his fabulous team do my hair. It was an excellent service, one I would highly recommended! Chironna Francesco did my makeup. I found them through Sextantio La Grotte Hotel's page - which is recommended by Condé Nast and the first hotel we stayed at our first visit to Matera.
The Groomsmen FashionHigh quality prompt service from Ed at Clermont Direct where we hired/ bought four morning suits from here, with the Groommens' shirts and shoes coming from Samuel Windsor.
The VenuesWe essentially used the city Sassi di Matera as our venue - if you've seen the photos you can see why! Rather than having one venue that provided everything, we used a location and made sure everything was in walking distance for our guests! - Oi Marie - Restaurant for welcome drinks - on the night before the wedding Chef Sara really looked after our 60 guests arriving at 11pm she put on an amazing buffet of fresh local italian pizzas and Prosecco for our guests! - Ristorante Soul Kitchen - Wedding breakfast Pietro and Mimo, Italian brothers who own the place, have a love of food that is rooted in their souls, we love this place and didn't want anyone else to cook for us. They pulled out all the stops for our courses and surprised us so many times. There is nothing quite like a real Italian meal! - AREA 8 - Reception Venue Mikaela the South African owner is an amazing party planner and had so many little ideas for making our party something a little bit special. She sourced an English speaking band for us, a DJ as well as sorting out our wedding cake which our guests were able to help put together before we cut it!
Colour Scheme/DecorOur colour scheme was pastels, baby blue and bright pink. We left the decor & styling down to the venues, all we requested was candles and flowers and they did an amazing job!
FloristWe used local florist Maria's Florist from the Sassi di Matera and had pink and white roses with blue ribbon.
The Wedding Party FashionThe Bridesmaids had dresses from Joules, Summer Season 2015 and shoes from Rainbow Club at John Lewis with the design and selected colour to match the dress.
CeremonyWorth doing your homework on this in Italy. We did want a ceremony that was both religious and civil but this is incredibly difficult and we ended up having our civil ceremony the day before our guests arrived in the Mayors office with Alessandra from Residence San Giorgio kindly agreeing to be one of our witnesses! We employed an official translator Maria Rosaria Silvano email as well as an Italian Lawyer we found through World Wide Lawyers. It's good to discuss your exact requirements before you pay out i.e what paperwork you need to provide and what work the Italian civil authority will provide/ require.
EntertainmentThe countless little bars in Matera! Live music and DJ was provided by our reception venue Area 8 and Mikaela Bandini owner of Area 8 kindly sorted everything! Mikaela is an amazing party planner and had so many little ideas for making our party something a little bit special. She sourced an English speaking band for us, a DJ as well as sorting out our wedding cake which our guests were able to help put together before we cut it!
FoodOur cake was baked by Leccabaffi. All other food was provided by Pietro & Mimo owners Ristorante Soul Kitchen. Pietro and Mimo have a love of food that is rooted in their Souls we love this place and didn't want anyone else to cook for us. They pulled out all the stops for our Breakfast and surprised us so many times. There is nothing quite like an Italian meal!
PhotographerAlline Beatrici from Beatrici Photography did a friend's wedding and we absolutely LOVED her photos. She has an amazing eye and the reportage style she employs captured the easy going feel that we were going for with our wedding. Her photos are absolutely stunning and we still can't quite believe our luck that we found her!
AccommodationNowhere could accommodate us all fully so we booked 4 B&Bs all next to each other for the weding party of 60. Fortunately, Alessandra from San Giorgio helped coordinate everything for us: B&B Residence San Giorgio had amazing rooms. Alessandra the owner was amazing and she really helped us with putting us in touch with other local business owners and other last minute details to make things happen. B&B Residence San Giovanni Vecchio. Angela was amazing at sorting everything out for us and the owners of Oi Marie the pizzeria also owned this place to. Francesca who runs B&B Residence Sassi San Gennaro introduced us to the church and the Priest we here we decided to get married. Valentina from B&B Ai Terrazzini was so welcoming and made our guests feel very much at home.
TransportThe local tourist info office was really helpful but we used Hoppa for the Airport transfers.
AdviceThe biggest challenge we had was getting people to commit to a foreign destination and we thought the easiest way was to make it a holiday for them so we paid for their accommodation and flights. We did think this was going to be impossible given a group booking for Ryan Air was in the region of £11k. However, we realised they were charging the highest price for all our guests. We found that we could get the flights much cheaper if we individually booked them for people which took the price down to £3.5k meaning that we kept to our £25k budget.
Dress Designer: Sincerity Bridal | Bridal Boutique: The Wedding Warehouse | Bridal Shoes: Dune - Betti Gold | Jewellery: PANDORA | Celebrity Hairdresser: Massimo Ferraroni | Bridal Makeup: Chironna Francesco | Grooms Suit: Clermont Direct | Shirts & Shoes: Samuel Windsor | Welome Drinks: Oi Marti | Wedding Breakfast: Ristorante Soul Kitchen | Reception Venue: Area 8 | Florist: Marias Florist | Bridesmaid Dresses: Joules | Bridesmaid Shoes: Rainbow Club at John Lewis | Cake: Leccabaffi | Accommodation: San Giovanni Vecchio Residence | Sassi San Gennaro | Ai Terrazaini Residence | San Giorgio